Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s Aaron Plessinger continues to make progress in his rookie season with another top-10 finish at round five of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship at PETCO Park. His veteran teammate Barcia’s podium fight ended early in tough track conditions.
It was another week of poor weather in Southern California, which unfortunately came to a head race day in San Diego. A deluge of rain right before the qualifying meant for a shortened schedule and tough track conditions. Plessinger’s early off-road beginnings makes him comfortable in the mud, but the 2018 250SX West Champion is still adapting to the learning curve in the premier class of Supercross. Plessinger made great head way in just his fifth round, leading his heat race, ultimately finishing second. He followed that up with a solid sixth-place in the main, taking away some valuable lessons to carry forward.
As for Barcia, who is still recovering from a tail bone injury, it was another tough race weekend. The New Yorker is also quite at home in a mud race, and made the best out of the difficult conditions in the heat race to finish fourth. In the main event, Barcia got off to a great start and was poised for a podium finish until a technical issue ended his race early.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team heads east to Minneapolis, Minnesota, next Saturday, February 9, at U.S. Bank Stadium for round six of the championship.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“San Diego Supercross was more about survival. Rain fell most of the day, turning the track into a nasty mess. Practice and qualifying was cut down to just one session late in the day, and the main event was cut down to 15 minutes + 1 lap. Justin got off to a great start in the top three and was clicking laps away looking to finish on the podium and challenge for the win, however, the muddy track conditions got the better of him and his bike, and he had a technical issue, just too much mud to continue.
“Aaron rode well. He continues to make progress, he was dicing with some of the top veterans, and I feel it was his best race of the season. It was a tough night for both guys; it was brutal for everybody. We go back indoors next weekend in Minnesota and will work on getting back on the podium.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It was a mudder! I had a really good heat race, I got passed at the end for first and ended up second, but was happy with my progress. I definitely think my off-road background helps in the mud a bit, but I’m still getting used to the 450. It’s power. It’s weight. It’s a tough transition from 250s. You know, I’m learning still. I just have to get the starts, get the bike to where I can really man handle it. I felt pretty good throughout the race. My stomach was still not feeling great, I had food poisoning on Thursday and I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the race weekend. So it was a decent result, but I’m still not satisfied. I want to get inside the top five. I’m going to work hard this week and prepare for Minneapolis.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing
“It was a crazy day, lots of rain so the track was super wet. I got a bad start in the heat race and got some water under my goggles, so I had to ditch them in the first turn and ended up stalling as well. I came from about last to fourth, so, ultimately, I was super happy with that ride. In the main event, I had a much better start than I’ve had lately. I felt like I was riding well enough to contend for a podium, or battle for the win, but I had a technical issue, and it took us out of the race. I just have to move on from this weekend and stay positive and keep on doing the things I have been doing and return to the podium sooner rather than later. The goal is Minneapolis, to get right back there. It’s been a tough few weeks but we’ll keep charging and never give up.”